How much of a half-wit do you have to be to think it’s okay to deface library books like this? And this is aboslutely nothing - I’ve checked out some books that were so full of highlighting, underlining, circles, arrows, and marginal comments that they were almost completely illegible.
The type of moronic mentality behind library book defacement is the same type of mentality behind littering. It’s a mentality which causes you to view other people - the people who have to share public spaces and public property with you, not to mention the people who have to clean up after you - as inconsequential. It’s a mentality which says, "The world I live in and everything that passes through my hands is completely worthless, so I can do what I like to them." It’s a mentality which encourages behavior that broadcasts the fact that you are a complete imbecile.
I think that if you ever, ever pick up a pen and write in a library book, you should automatically lose library privileges worldwide for the rest of your life. That would be a milder alternative to my dream punishment for this crime, which involves hunting down the perpetrators and scribbling them to death with their highlighters.
I think I’m going to start a collection of photos of defaced library books; between the term paper and the dissertation I’ll have to write in the coming months, I should have plenty of library book material for an extensive gallery. Maybe I can launch a campaign together with Xerox called "MAKE A DAMN PHOTOCOPY". This might encourage people to use those wacky, newfangled machines in the library to make their own personal copies of things, which they can then scribble on and drool all over to their heart’s content, thus saving me from having to wade through their pointless highlighting and inane commentary every time I open up the pages of another poor library book.
Really, what is the world coming to…